Making memories

Sitting in the parking lot at our kids’ elementary school in January, it dawned on me that we had only 7 more school years until our oldest would be finished with high school. Holy Cow! How could this be? Had Y2K really been 12 years ago? Was middle school really a few months away?

Well, of course, being the sentimental nut-job that I am, I came home professing to my husband that we needed to take some trips as a family, see the world, make some family memories- just the five of us.

Luckily, John was on board and I set out to plan the best educational Spring Break family trip ever. For months, I agonized over where we should go and what we should do. I read websites, bought books and read blogs. I asked friends and strangers about their ideas on where we should go. I spent hours doing comparison-shopping for hotels, for our tickets and our meals.

Finally, the decision was made that we would go to Williamsburg, Virginia. We would visit Colonial Williamsburg, Historic Jamestown, Virginia Living Museum, and The Mariner Museum and, of course, spend a day at Busch Gardens.

We recently returned from our trip, and we had a blast! I will spare you the nitty gritty details of our adventure. But what I really wanted to share, was what our kids told us at dinner as we sat around the table discussing our trip and reminiscing about our week away.

Question #1- “ What was your most favorite part of our trip to Williamsburg?” All three said- unanimously- “STAYING IN A HOTEL!” There was then much discussion about how thin the TV’s were, how the soap smelled fabulous, how cool it was to have microwave popcorn while watching a movie in the fold out bed, how great it was to have cereal from the individual serving boxes, and how awesome it was that they had gotten to have 4 consecutive days of Shirley Temples in the lobby at the manager’s reception. 

Question #2-“What did you learn on this trip that you didn’t know before?”
“There were rumors of cannibalism during the ‘Starving Time’ at Jamestown!” exclaimed Jackson (11 yrs old).
"JR – the skeleton in the Historic Jamestown Museum - died from a bullet wound to the knee!” declared Avery (daughter, 9 years old).
“That lady’s skull we saw in the box--- she died with only 5 teeth!” shared Charlotte (daughter, 5 years old).

Question #3-“ What was the funniest part of our trip?”
“Watching you (Mom) get drenched on the Roman Rapids at Busch Gardens,” shared Jackson with a smile on his face.
"Seeing Char terrified at the top of Da Vinci’s Cradle,” snickered Avery.
 And last, my personal favorite, “Locking Jackson up in the jail cell!” smiled Charlotte.

Summary: Memories can be made anywhere. Obviously, traveling to the unknown can be great fun and educational. However, an occasional hotel room with Mom and Dad, a spooky Scooby Doo DVD to watch, maybe an indoor pool, snacks and some Shirley Temples is really all it takes to make great memories.

Alexis Williams may not be a good housekeeper and she’s even worse at being the tooth fairy. But she loves laughing, traveling, spending time with family and being a part of a community that makes a difference. Alexis is officially Inspired Wining's “go-to girl” for just about everything from developing community partnerships to securing our venues for Inspired Wining on Location events. A wife, mother of 3, a church and school volunteer, Alexis is the sharp-witted sweetheart of the group.


  1. One of my favorite trips I took with my sons was to NYC. You see, I'm the ultimate planner, but one year, I let everyone 'plan a day in NYC'. They had to research and decide what they wanted their day to be, and the rules were, everyone else had to get on board, no matter what, and make it fun. We ended up at the Bronx Zoo, Lion King on Broadway, MoMA, a grunge rock concert in the Village, CBGB. It was the best.

    1. Kelly, that is a fantastic idea and I'm going to keep that in mind for when my kids are older. Very clever!

      In August, I will be flying to Lake Superior - just me and the kids. I am counting on McKenna to be a big help with Kellen, and I think she will be. He doesn't like to be confined, so it should be interesting. But once we are there, it's gorgeous hikes, lapping lake water, the freshest of fresh air and all the best parts of being out in nature. I can't wait. Especially for the 70 degree days and the 45 degree nights.